Local

Preliminary District 47 budget carries surplus

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Community School District 47 is projected to have an operating fund surplus at the end of the 2014-15 school year following the tentative approval of an $88.5 million budget.

Of the total $88.5 million budget, $83.1 million will be spent in the operating fund where $84.2 million is expected to come from property taxes and state aid. A $387,645 surplus is expected to be added to the fund after transfers to pay down debt.

The district spent $80.4 million on operations last year.

Preliminary budget numbers show property tax revenue will increase 1.7 percent – in line with the Consumer Price Index. That increase is down from the roughly 1.9 percent increase in local tax revenue the district brought in last year.

The expected tax increase to the average homeowner of a $200,000 home would be $39 for the year – the same amount as last year's increase.

State support is expected to dip 3.8 percent, but could be less as was the case last year. The district received an unexpected influx of $619,082 after the state legislature prorated general state aid at 88.7 percent. Still, school officials are cautious when budgeting what they expect to receive.

"We develop our budget on an annual basis ... due to the fact that state fiscal uncertainty could materially impact the district," said district spokeswoman Denise Barr. "Budget assumptions will continue to be redefined as new and updated information is received."

Teacher salaries are set to increase 2.3 percent while health and insurance benefits will increase 3 percent.

The district is projected to end the year with $28 million in the operating fund and $39.4 million in reserves across all funds. A public hearing will be held on the proposed budget. The board's next meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at the administrative offices at 300 Commerce Drive in Crystal Lake.

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